Go back a decade – Back then getting into MNCs was an engineer’s dream and Sarkari Naukri was what our parents wanted us to do. Think of your own start-up then, and you would be risking your marriage (no father in his right mind would give you his daughter), made fun of (though silently) and considered a failure. Today, working for a start-up is an engineer’s choice.
It’s true that start-ups are designed to fail and, with so many big players around, successful start-ups are actually the exceptions. The HireTale team ventured into finding out these exceptional people – the majority of the successful start-ups are from top engineering colleges, mainly by IITians and BITS graduates. Even in the US, 62 percent of the start-ups were founded or co-founded by Indians (IITians mostly) and IITs are the only institute in the world outside the US which have made the tenth highest number of start-ups in the US itself.
We estimate, there are over 2,500 start-ups in India, some made it big while some are trying to.
In this blog, we bring to you some of the favorites and most notable start-ups from the IITs and BITS graduates. Do tell us which engineering college do you think can boast of the most successful start-ups!!
IIT- Bombay :
Start-ups, typically, have two to four founders. Rare are companies like Infosys had MindTree, which had seven founders apiece. With 12 founders—all aged 23-24 years, all engineers from IIT Bombay, all friends—Housing has outdone them all. Want to find rentals, resale, agents, PGs, new projects and land plots across 25 cities in India, housing is your destination. It has seen three rounds of funding so far in three years. Started from Mumbai in 2012, it plans to expand its services to 40 cities across the nation by this year end.
Founders: 12 Founders, all from IIT-Bombay, led by Rahul Yadav and Aditya Sharma
2) Ola Cabs
Founded in January 2011 by two IIT Bombay alumni Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, Ola Cabs is India’s largest aggregator of car rentals and point-to-point cab services. Olacabs operates across Delhi-NCR, Bangalore, Chennai, and Mumbai, among other cities and has close to 10,000 cabs on its platform. It competes with companies such as Uber (market leader in the US which is aggressively expanding in Asia, TaxiForSure (An IIM-A startup), Savaari, CarzOnRent’s EasyCabs and Meru Cabs. Hong Kong-based hedge fund Steadview Capital is close to making its first investment in taxi services aggregator – Olacabs – which is looking to raise about Rs 300 crore in its latest round of funding.
Founders: Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhatti
In the era, when most of the startups are based on e-commerce, ideaforge is unique in itself. With its mission to create best-in-class Unmanned Systems that exceed user expectations, it works with DRDO, Indian forces and various state governments and provides security and surveillance solutions. Its Unmanned Aerial Vehicle NETRA was used in Uttrakhand flood rescue operations.
Founders: Ankit Mehta, Vipul Joshi, Ashish Bhat, Amardeep Singh, Rahul Singh
From a start-up with an investment of just four lakhs rupees, Flipkart has grown into a $100 million-revenue online retail giant in just six years. The founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal had been working for Amazon.com previously. The first product sold by them was the book Leaving Microsoft To Change The World, bought by VVK Chandra from Andhra Pradesh. Cash on Delivery was actually put into practice by Flipkart. Employing over 10,000 people it is one of the most successful start-ups in India. In fact, most of the successful e-commerce start-ups came from IIT-D like Snapdeal, Myntra, yepme, Quikr, etc.
Founders: Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal (They are not blood brothers, mind it !)
Founded in 1982, it is the leading global talent development company and offers learning and knowledge solutions globally in 40 countries. With over $120 mn revenue (2013) and more than 3500 employees, it is another successful start-up story.
Founders: Vijay K Thandani and Rajendra S Pawar
Zomato is an online restaurant discovery guide providing information on home delivery, dining-out, cafés and nightlife in cities of India, Brazil, Turkey, Indonesia, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. Formerly known as Foodiebay.com it was renamed to zomato.com in 2010. Following the introduction of .xxx domains in 2011, Zomato launched zomato.xxx, a site dedicated to food porn.
Founder: Deepinder Goyal
Do we really need to say anything about it or its founder (if you are an engineer, you know him. If not an engineer we don’t care). Infosys is the third-largest India-based IT services company by 2014 revenues. On 31 March 2014, its market capitalization was INR 188,510 crores ($31.11 billion), making it India’s fifth largest publicly traded company. The company was incorporated as “Infosys Consultants Pvt Ltd.” with a capital of Rs. 10,000 (roughly $167) in Model Colony, Pune.
Founders: N. R. Narayana Murthy, Nandan Nilekani (IIT-B), S Gopalakrishnan (IIT-M), S D Shibulal, K Dinesh, Ashok Arora, N S Raghavan
InMobi (earlier mKhoj, started as SMS based search platform) is a performance-based mobile ad network backed by Soft Bank and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Founded in 2007, it has offices in 17 countries and over 750M active monthly users. Its ability to challenge industry leaders such as Apple & Google and pioneering innovation in the ad space has enabled InMobi to win a coveted spot in MIT Technology Review’s 50 most disruptive companies of 2013
Founder: Naveen Tewari
India’s largest fan merchandising store, Bluegape started out of a dorm room at IIT-K. Founders started off with selling personalized posters and since then has sold fan merchandising to ‘Krrish 3′ and ‘Batman’ and several online phenomenons like ‘Guddu and Gang’, ‘IIT Tips’ etc.
1) The Viral Fever Media Labs
We rate it as top start-up from IIT-Kgp because it has for the first time shown, IITs are not only about Technology and innovations but also entertainment. Started by Arunabh Kumar, at a time when he was short even on his room rent, today TVF the team who gave the phenomenon ‘Qtiyapa’ has offices in Mumbai and Delhi and statistically is India’s 2nd biggest New Media Network in the country in the category of Youth Entertainment. The Viral Fever has over 44 million views on their Youtube Channel with over 60000 subscribers and about 50 million minutes have been watched.
Founder: Arunabh Kumar
2) Little Eye Labs
Acquired by Facebook at the start of the year, Little Eye Labs became the first Indian company to be acquired by Facebook for a reported INR 93 Cr. Little Eye Labs builds mobile app analysis tools for app developers and testers. These tools provide detailed insights about the behavior of the app, enabling easy benchmarking and optimization of resources. The entire team was moved to Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California, where it builds analysis tools to help develop apps for Facebook.
Founders: Kumar Rangarajan, Satyam Kandula
3) Farms n Farmers
This is a respectable start-up from two IITians. They left cushy jobs and turned social entrepreneurs. Farms n Farmers, their venture provides end-to-end solutions to Bihar farmers. Their network has increased from 14 to 4500 since Oct 2010 and farmers incomes have increased by 25-40 percent.
Founders: Manish Kumar and Shashank Kumar (IIT-D)
Launched in Feb 2012 as a comparison shopping site which organizes selection from sellers with e-commerce websites, it has now been acquired by Amazon. Junglee once ranked as India’s #1 comparison shopping site and the 6th most visited online retail site in India.
Founder: Anand Rajaraman
Codelearn, an e-learning startup teaches programming by building applications than teaching syntax of a programming language. With 85K+ users, its Indian answer to other e-learning websites. It currently offers tutorials on web development, Ruby on Rails and Android.
Founders: Ashish Sharma and Hemanth Haridas (IIT-K)
It’s a male-dominated world, and engineering, its male civilization. And amidst all this, when a girl has a successful start-up, it deserves a mention. Voylla.com is an online portal that offers a wide range of designer jewelry and accessories for women, men, and kids. Started by Jagrati Shringi, they have expanded magnanimously from 200 designs to 8500 unique designs in one and a half years.
URL : http://voylla.com
Founder: Jagrati Shringi, Vishwas Shringi and Raj Uparkar
1) Drishti Soft
Working in the domain of customer interactions management solutions, their multi-award winning customer management solutions are powering billions of calls across the globe. With a business presence in the Philippines, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and EMEA, it is growing at a very rapid pace.
Founders: Bishal Lachhiramaka
A free video-based computer security education portal, it has learners spread across 220 countries. SecurityTube gets an estimated 80,000 monthly visitors and is considered the world’s largest infosec and hacking portal.
Founder: Vivek Ramachandran
3) ConceptWaves Software Solutions
Founder: Raghu Kanchusthambam
Well, you are interested in startups, are going through this article and are unaware of NextBigWhat, then you are the biggest hypocrite on the planet. NextBigWhat is a one-stop information center covering technology startups globally and connecting global entrepreneurs with each other. Started as Pluggd.in, it rebranded itself to nextbigwhat.com and has around 2 lakh followers.
Founder: Ashish Sinha
2) Jaypee Group
20,000 crore well diversified infrastructural industrial conglomerate in India, it was formally formed in 1979. Prior to that, the founder, Jaiprakash Gaur, Civil Engineer from IIT-R (1950, then known as College of Engineering, Roorkee) was an entrepreneurial contractor. Today it has businesses in Engineering and Construction, Cement, Power, Real Estate, Expressways, Fertilizer, Hospitality, Healthcare, Sports, Information Technology and Education.
Founder: Jaiprakash Gaur
Phanindra Sama was 25 when he founded the pioneering venture together with his BITS Pilani batchmates Charan Padmaraju and Sudhakar Pasupunuri. In June 2013, they sold redBus to the Ibibo Group for an estimated Rs 600-700 crore, the biggest overseas strategic acquisition of an Indian internet asset. RedBus now sells over a million tickets a month, and the gross value of transactions on the site last year was about Rs 600 crore, up from Rs 350 crore the year before.
Founders: Phanindra Sama, Charan Padmaraju and Sudhakar Pasupunuri
2) Grey Orange Robotics
Tooling around with technology is a common pastime on campus but to turn a classroom project into serious business is uncommon. That is exactly what Samay Kohli and Akash Gupta have done. While still at the Birla Institute of Technology in Pilani, the two designed and built a robot that waited at tables in the college cafeteria. Drawing on the learning from those halcyon days, Kohli and Gupta have started their robot-making company, Grey Orange Robotics, that is helping some of India’s largest online retailers automate their warehouses.
Founders: Samay Kohli
Shivakumar Ganesan of BITS Pilani created a cloud-based mobile solution when call volume went through the roof at his first venture, a consumer-to-consumer marketplace, Roopit. He soon realized that other entrepreneurs needed a solution like this and so founded Exotel with Ishwar Sridharan, Siddharth Ramesh, and Vijay Sharma in February 2010 and launched the solution in June 2011. Exotel provides small and medium enterprises in India products like IVR, SMS, Call Recording Software, and other applications around cloud telephony. As of June 2013, the company has annual revenues crossing Rs. 10 million and more than 350 clients. On 20 Jan 2014, Exotel hit 500 Customer mark, plans to add 1500 customers by the end of 2014.
Founders: Shivakumar Ganesan, Ishwar Sridharan, Siddharth Ramesh, and Vijay Sharma
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